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Breaking Down Types of Florida Probate Proceedings

February 21, 2022 CSBB Blog

Probate is a legal process in which the validity and authenticity of a will is verified. The goal of probate is to distribute the deceased person’s estate according to the terms of their will. 

In Florida, there are three primary types of probate administration: 

  1. Formal administration
  2. Summary administration
  3. Disposition without administration

Formal Administration in Florida

Formal administration, also known as formal probate, is the most common type of probate proceeding that is the standardized, routine form of probate. Formal administration is held in the local Circuit Court of the County where the deceased person resided (otherwise known as domicile) at the time of his or her passing. It is applicable when an estate is worth $75,000 or more.

The process begins when a person passes away and the personal representative (known as executor in other jurisdictions) named or nominated in the will or other interested party asks to be appointed as personal representative. The beneficiaries named in the estate are given notice and a chance to raise any formal objections.

Summary Administration in Florida

Summary administration is only available when the property’s total value of the entire estate subject to probate administration, less the value of property exempt from the claims of creditors, less than $75,000. Summary administration is also available when it involves a decedent who died more than two years ago. This includes, for example, when a missing person is declared legally dead. Summary administration is initiated by the filing of a Petition for Summary Administration. 

Disposition Without Administration in Florida 

The phrase “without administration” describes a process that, under certain circumstances, skips the probate hearing altogether. Disposition without administration is only available when the deceased individual did not leave any real estate, and the assets available for probate are valued at less than the amount of final expenses after probate. In other words, disposition without administration occurs when probate administration would actually lose money. Since there is no administrative formal court hearing, assets are recovered by filing a “Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration” form.

Assets That Do Not Go Through Probate

Some of the deceased person’s assets may be eligible to pass to their new owner without probate. The most common kinds of these types of assets include:

  • Property held in joint tenancy; for example, a joint bank account or a house owned by a couple
  • Assets for which the person designated a beneficiary; for example, a 401K
  • Assets held in a living trust

For more information on what assets are subject to probate administration please review the following article

Let a Florida and Palm Beach County Probate Attorney Help You With Your Probate Administration

Probate administration becomes complex when you’re deciding what type of probate proceeding is most appropriate. A Palm Beach County probate attorney here at Comiter, Singer, Baseman & Braun, can help you answer the difficult questions, make sure you select the proper type of probate proceeding that works best for you and help you through that probate proceeding. To learn more and get started, contact us today.

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